As you age, you’re likely to have more health problems. Men, in particular, need to keep a close eye on prostate health. This month is Prostate Awareness Month, so there is no better time to learn more about your prostate. This should include what health problems to watch for and their symptoms. You’ll also learn good health tips and the role of a prostate health test in keeping an eye on your short-term and long-term health. As always, the key to your best health profile is information. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Prostate health basics
Your prostate is a small gland that is a crucial part of a male’s reproductive organs. It handles creating and strengthening sperm and promoting sperm production. As men age, the prostate will naturally grow larger. Sometimes, it will get too large, and this enlargement can cause health problems. After age 50, prostate problems are considered common.
The statistics about prostate health
Prostate enlargement isn’t always short-term inflammation that will pass with time. Sometimes, untreated prostate enlargement can lead to chronic health problems. This can include prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men. In the UK, there are approximately 144 men diagnosed with prostate cancer every day.
Prostate cancer can be detected early with regular screening. You should always have your annual exam with your GP and talk to them about the health of your prostate. Ask about cancer screening as part of your regular care regime, too. About other non-cancerous health problems, you can also consider a prostate health test, which you’ll do at home, on your schedule.
What are common prostate health problems?
So, other than cancer, what other possible prostate health problems can you expect? The main ones to think about are below.
Prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
This fancy term refers to having an enlarged prostate. BPH can occur without you being aware of it. This is a non-cancerous condition, meaning it can’t develop into cancer. Yet, you should still be aware of it and talk to your GP about monitoring and treating it if symptoms are a problem.
Prostatitis is swelling in your prostate gland. This leads to pelvic pain and long-term symptoms that can interrupt your life (more on that in a bit). Chronic prostatitis is when this condition either keeps coming back or simply “settles in” and is a long-term problem.
This is like the above, except it is caused by a bacterial infection. In this situation, the symptoms would set in very quickly and are often accompanied by a fever, chills, and other recognisable signs that your immune system is fighting something. Bacterial prostatitis can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term).
Symptoms of a prostate problem
Now that we’ve covered the various possible prostate health problems, what symptoms could show that you have an undiagnosed health concerns around your prostate? The most common symptoms men experience are as follows:
- The need to wee frequently (especially at night)
- Dribbling after weeing
- Painful and/or burning wee
- Blood in your wee or semen
- Painful or burning ejaculation
- Stiffness or pain in your pelvic area (including your hips, rectum, lower back, and upper thighs)
While this is not a complete list, it covers the most concerning symptoms for men above 50. If you notice these or other symptoms, talk to your GP at your next appointment.
How to care for your prostate
A big part of prostate health is caring preventatively for it. Whether you are starting before or after the prime age for health problems, it’s never too late to start caring for your prostate! Take a look at the top tips below.
Eat a low-fat diet
You should minimise your diet’s fat content as much as possible; a low-fat diet helps lower the risk of prostate cancer, among other prostate health concerns. You should also try to make more room for fruits and veg. These deliver essential nutrients and vitamins and reduce your risk of cancer and health problems.
Men above 50 should have options available through their GP for screening. Talk to your GP about what you qualify for and follow their directions on annual screening, exams, and anything else you’re told. You’ll also want to consider getting a prostate health test to keep an eye on your health throughout the year. Early detection will always work in your favour since it allows you and your medical team to “get ahead” of the health problem as much as possible.
Be mindful of alcohol
You don’t need to cut alcohol from your diet to protect your prostate. However, be mindful of how much alcohol you drink. There is a link between binge drinking and prostate health problems. As much as possible, keep your weekly alcohol intake within healthy norms for your age and health profile — your body will thank you!
Keep your weight within healthy norms
Doing your part to manage your weight will also help you protect your body from stress and prostate health problems. Exercise regularly and combine that with other practices, such as a healthy and balanced diet. Every literal and figurative step that you take will help you protect your prostate!
With this information to guide you, you can make the most out of Prostate Health Month and your need for prostate protection. Whether you have already been diagnosed with prostate enlargement or simply want to get familiar with possible prostate health problems, this will show you where to turn, what to focus on, and how to do everything within your power for your best health! And remember, you can buy a prostate health test from our website, to monitor health and offer peace of mind.